Cat allergies are common, with experts estimating that for every 10 Americans, three are allergic to cats. Knowing what causes an allergic reaction is the first step toward finding relief. Below is a breakdown of why you are allergic to your cat and what treatment options are available.
What Are You Allergic To?
The cause of your cat allergy can be broken down into three categories:
- Saliva. Within your cat’s saliva are albumin and Felis domesticus 1. When your cat grooms itself, these proteins transfer from their mouth to their skin. These proteins will then come into contact with your skin when you cuddle up with your furry friend.
- Urine. Your cat’s urine also contains the Felis domesticus 1, which can cause an allergic reaction.
- Dander. Dead skin flakes can become airborne and are easily inhaled.
Cat Allergy Symptoms
Common cat allergy symptoms include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sinus congestion
- Swelling of the tongue, face or mouth
The best way to treat any allergy is to avoid exposure. This means finding your cat a new forever home where they can be loved by someone without an allergy. Contact Simply Cats Adoption Center for more information.
If relocating your cat is out of the question, you can treat your allergy symptoms through medication and lifestyle changes.
Over-the-counter antihistamines can help reduce your symptoms while an inhaler can relieve allergy-induced asthma and a nasal spray can reduce inflammation. Allergy shots are a more permanent solution, working to slowly to reduce your symptoms over time.
Lifestyle changes include:
- Creating an allergy-free zone in your bedroom by keeping your door closed and not allowing your cat to sleep on your bed
- Investing in an HEPA air purifier that can help remove allergens from the air
- Removing your carpets and replacing them with hardwood or laminate flooring, which is easier to clean.
- Changing your clothing after you spend time with your cat to reduce exposure.
- Bathing your cat frequently (but not more than once a week) to reduce its dander and allergy-causing proteins
To learn more about treating your cat allergies or to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact SW Idaho ENT today.